With eight victories to his credit since taking to the wheel of the TEG Sport Subaru Impreza last year, Carnforth’s Arron Newby raised the bar even further when he took a sensational win on this weekend’s Manx International Rally.
As well as adding his name to the achievements of rally legends Ari Vatanen, Henri Toivonen, Colin McRae and Richard Burns in winning the prestigious event, this year was even more special as it was the event’s 50th anniversary and made it a hat-trick of wins on the Isle of Man this year for the 18-year-old who won the Chris Kelly Memorial Stages and Dave Corris Autos Forest Rally also.
But the icing on the cake was that Newby became the youngest winner of the three-day event and along with Manx co-driver Rob Fagg, are still in the running to win the Eurostars Motorsport.com Manx Rally Championship at their first attempt.
Driving the Pirelli-sponsored and TEG Sport-prepared Subaru Impreza on the event which covered 462 miles of which 196 were on closed roads over 27 special stages, Newby made a cautious start on Thursday evening’s stages in the damp and misty conditions and courtesy of three runner-up placings, briefly held second place before arriving at the Douglas overnight halt in a safe third behind a couple of local crews and just 24 seconds off the lead.
Friday saw Arron attack and he showed his intentions with three fastest times in the morning and hit the front after SS10 but it wasn’t all plain sailing as a transmission problem seriously hampered his progress leaving him with just two-wheel drive for the remainder of the day.
Remarkably, Newby continued to set the pace and went fastest on the next four stages and arrived back at the TT Grandstand with a lead of over a minute and a half going into Saturday’s final loop.
Great work was needed by the TEG Sport crew in service who set about rectifying the problem with the centre differential meaning that four-wheel drive was restored at 3am ready for the final push the following morning.
From there, Newby rewarded them and rammed home his advantage setting fastest time on two of the remaining eight stages and duly arrived at the finish over two minutes and 20 seconds ahead of his nearest rival.
The result was Newby’s fifth successive victory and confirmed his status as one of Britain’s hottest young talents with a sensational record over the past 18 months but this victory was his best to date.
Arron Newby commented: “This really is a dream come true as this is one of the toughest events there is and I can’t believe I’ve won it.
“To see my name on the trophy alongside some of my heroes is simply fantastic.
“Thanks must go to Rob for another fantastic job on the notes; he deserves this as much as me, and to the whole TEG Sport team for their hard work, especially in fixing the diff during the night on Friday.
“I recognise this is a team effort and I’m truly grateful to my parents, our team and all our sponsors for making this happen.”
*Lancaster’s Darren Atkinson and Phil Sandham (Bolton-le-Sands) Atkinsons Sandblasting Escort Mk2 were the leading two-wheel drive crew. the Morecambe Car Club crew finished in a commanding sixth place overall.